Edinburgh Council is the latest to approve a “boiler prescription” scheme, to improve the health of those living in cold homes.
The idea is based on a similar scheme by Gentoo Group in Sunderland, where doctors could “prescribe” housing improvements to improve individual health.
In January 2014 six homes were improved by Gentoo with a combination of measures including new boilers, double glazing and insulation, to homes of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a condition known to be made worse by living in cold damp conditions.
In the first six months (and it must be remembered that these results are from a very small data set over a relatively short period of time) GP appointments were reduced by 28% and outpatient appointments by 33%. Patients also said they felt much better.
Other benefits included:
- Up to 35.6% reduction in gas consumption each month
- Up to £29.91 saving on gas bill each month
- Generally an increase between 2 and 7 SAP points however a maximum increase of 47 points (moving the property from EPC G to EPC D)
- Up to a 42% increase in living room temperature
- Up to 14% increase in bedroom temperature
The scheme in Edinburgh – in association with NHS Lothian – will begin in three to four months.